SME Innovation | Reducing the carbon footprint of online advertising

Pollution also occurs through digital advertising campaigns. According to Scope3, every 1 million digital ad impressions would produce the same amount of carbon emissions as a return flight from Montreal to Brussels. Why not find a way to reduce emissions from a $136 billion industry?

Posted at 11:00 am

Isabel Mass

Isabel Mass
The press

Who ?

Sharethrough, a technology company specializing in real-time programmatic advertising, found a way to do this by integrating solutions from Scope3 and Carbon Direct into its services. “This project brought together most of our volunteers,” notes Sharethrough co-founder Benoit Skinazi. There is a real desire among employees to do good. We therefore believe that advertising can have a positive effect. »

The product

A Green Media product or Green PMP (PMP means private marketplaces), which enables brands to offer digital advertising campaigns while measuring and offsetting the resulting carbon emissions. All without altering campaign performance.

By planting trees? “It’s a way of doing it, but it has a long-term effect,” Benoit Skinazi replies. We work with Carbon Direct, which specializes in offset projects [les émissions]. For example, there are more technological systems, such as air filtration, to absorb carbon in the air. The advertiser uses the compensation money to finance such projects worldwide. »

Measuring and offsetting carbon emissions is 10 to 20 cents per CPM (cost per 1,000 ad impressions). “The amount varies depending on the site because they don’t all produce the same emissions,” specifies Benoit Skinazi. Our goal is to choose the most efficient digital path and thus reduce the carbon footprint. We also allow advertisers to prioritize sites that generate fewer emissions. However, you need to be able to deliver a carbon neutral campaign without altering the performance of an ad campaign, because the goal of advertisers is to generate performance. »


Scope3, whose mission is to decarbonize media and digital advertising, has implemented technology that measures carbon emissions from advertising. “With Scope3, we have built this capacity to measure the emissions caused by online advertising in real time,” explains Benoit Skinazi. This enables us to offer media agencies and advertisers support so that they can decarbonize and offset their emissions. That’s the biggest challenge, having the right measurement tool in combination with the right campaign tools. »

Sharethrough designed the system to extract data from emissions. “In order for the data to circulate in real time, we built all the connectors with Scope3,” continues Benoit Skinazi. As soon as an advertising campaign goes live, Scope3 receives information about the delivery location, the device and the media type. We had to create all the connectors in real time, respecting the confidentiality of the information. The goal is not to uncover the advertiser’s strategy. »

The future

According to Benoit Skinazi, the industry needs a major educational effort. “We’re seeing real interest in these types of products, but brands don’t know where to start,” he says. The reason ? Around 80% of consumers prefer brands that are actively working to reduce their emissions, and 55% believe brands can play a bigger role than government in positive climate impact, according to a May Sharethrough poll. “We can help brands commit and set goals. »

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